Effects of childhood experiences with parents on adulthood: An exploration of perfectionism, control, and expression of emotions related to childhood issues
Psychoanalytic scholars and psychoanalytic clinicians, among others, have illustrated that childhood experiences, especially traumas, can have lasting effects into adulthood. Parents are usually the major caretakers of their children during their children's infancy and childhood. Therefore, parents have a dominant role in their children's childhood experiences. This dissertation illustrates the effects of early childhood experiences upon subsequent adulthood experiences especially the preeminent role of parents in their children's lives even after the child has entered into adulthood.
In this paper, I present a case study of the therapy I provided to Mary, a 28-year-old Native American, twice divorced, single woman. Mary came to therapy with anxiety problems, including “anxiety attacks.” Mary also reported of having some eating problems, which she referred to as “excessive overeating.” In addition, Mary revealed relationship problems, self esteem issues, and difficulties coping with recent significant transitions. For this presentation, I concentrate on two key areas of Mary's childhood development as well as the evolution of the therapeutic relationship and its process. The first issue is control and perfectionism. The second issue is the ability to express the full range of emotional experience. Case conceptualization occurred, for the most part, from a psychoanalytic relational approach.
The paper reviews relevant theoretical and empirical studies integrating these studies and the case study into clinical and theoretical conclusions. Further recommendations regarding prevention issues of childhood traumas are provided in the discussion section.
0620: Developmental psychology